Marxism in Of Mice and Men

1429 Words6 Pages
“John Steinbeck: Marxist Supporter?”

Since the beginning of time, the world has been infected with human greed and hunger for power. However, only a lucky few are able to truly appease this desire and get to the peak of the economic hierarchy, while the majority of citizens scrambles at the bottom, hoping and praying for alleviation from the cruelties of the never-ending oppression in their lives. However, in the mid 1800’s, a man named Karl Marx decided that this perpetual cycle of difference and inequality was wrong. He believed in a system where everyone was peaceful, happy, and above all, completely equal with one another. Marx was certain that if society could be rid of all forms of private property, our natural
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Curley believes that because he is the big boss’s son, and therefore more affluent and powerful than the workers, he has every right to exert his dominance over them. The author seems to have emphasized this element again when George confesses to Slim all the terrible things that he used to do to Lennie. George describes how dumb and naive Lennie was while
George played practical jokes on him, and he mentions that Lennie would do anything that
George asked, no matter how dangerous it was (40). George has something that Lennie does not have, which is intelligence. George uses Lennie’s stupidity to his own advantage by tricking
Lennie, an action that a Marxist might consider oppression under this circumstance, because
Lennie is too naive to understand the callousness of George’s jokes. This Marxist principle surfaces once again when Crooks quickly becomes compliant and obedient after Curley’s wife threatens him. Crooks stands up to Curley’s wife, but she quickly snaps at Crooks, saying that she could get him “strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.” After this comment, Crooks’s pang of rebelliousness promptly withers away (81). Curley’s wife is a white woman with a husband who is the son of the “big boss”, while Crooks is a black stable buck, so she has much more authority over him. Curley’s wife believes that she has every right to treat Crooks in this cruel manner because of her higher status. Thus, through repeatedly
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